Could Jonatan Berggren Compete For a Roster Spot Next Season?

Jonatan Berggren of the Detroit Red Wings. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Jonatan Berggren of the Detroit Red Wings. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings
Jonatan Berggren of the Detroit Red Wings. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Breaking Down Jonatan Berggren’s Game

The Detroit Red Wings organization is filled with young talent all over the board. I mean, even Alex Nedeljkovic who appears to be a veteran at this point is still only 26 years old at the moment. Which, if that doesn’t tell you just how young this team is, I don’t really know what will.

Anyways, the Red Wings organization, is a growing system and has been giving opportunites out to their top prospects over the past couple seasons. This past year we saw Raymond make his debut and the year before that, we saw Mortiz Seider make his NHL debut. This upcoming year, I’d expect us to see at least one of our top prospects. My pick- Jonatan Berggren.

The former second-round selection by the Red Wings is coming off a very strong season with the Griffins and I expect that to carry some weight. Additionally, even if he didn’t produce with the Griffins, which he did, it wouldn’t matter much. His play and skill-set is very much ‘Pro ready’.

Scott Wheeler of The Athletic did his prospect pool rankings this past year and had the Red Wings ranked seventh amongst all NHL teams. After taking a look at his list, he stated that outside of Cossa and Edvinsson, Berggren is the top prospect in the organization. This is his thoughts on him as a player.

"“After a tremendous 20-year-old season in the SHL, Berggren’s 21-year-old season in the AHL has met the same standard, reaffirming his position as the highest-ceiling forward prospect in the Red Wings system now that Raymond has graduated. Berggren can torment teams with his east-west skill on the perimeter, hanging onto pucks, playing with unique poise under pressure, and using his hands and footwork to draw defenders to him so his linemates can get open in the space those defenders leave behind. He has also, in the last two seasons, gotten to the inside more proficiently. Berggren has clear line-driving upside and an ingenuity to his game that helps him create plays out of nothing, surprise defenders and goalies, and spend a lot of time dictating with the puck on his stick, layering stop-ups and low-to-high players into carrying sequences. He’s not going to be a big goal-scorer at the NHL level but I like him as a playmaking top-nine winger with clear power-play value.”"

Another trusted scout in my eyes is Wheelers co-worker, Corey Pronman. And like Wheeler, he ranked the top 32 teams prospect pools.

Unlike Wheeler, Pronman has the Red Wings ranked ninth amongst the NHL teams. However, it should be noted that in these rankings, it did include Zadina, Rasmussen, Seider, and Raymond which would no longer be included if he did them today. But in the spirit of keeping things in perspective, let’s go along with it.

In Pronman’s rankings, he had Berggren ranked ninth. In his reasoning this is what he had to say:

"“Berggren was a top scorer in the SHL, taking a major leap forward as a 20-year-old. He’s an entertaining player to watch. He is a great skater and can make difficult plays with the puck at full speed. His one-on-one skills and playmaking with pace allow you to see him creating in the NHL. He lacks size, physicality and isn’t much of a finisher, so just exactly how much he can score in the NHL will be a question. But he can certainly project to impact possession and create chances in a significant manner. Berggren projects as a middle-six winger.”"

My thoughts when it comes to rather or not Berggren can make the roster is currently conflicting. I feel that in order to give an accurate prediction or statement on the matter, we need to first figure out what Yzerman is planning to do with all the current free agents. Additionally, we need to figure out a timetable for Fabbri’s return.

Those are the two biggest stepping stones for Berggren. If he can overcome the obstacles that are undoubtedly coming his way, I think he has a very good chance to brake camp as a Red Wing come next season.